Christian Mitchell serves as Vice President for Civic Engagement for the University of Chicago. As Vice President for Civic Engagement, he is responsible for overseeing the Office of Civic Engagement, including state and local government relations, as well as the Office of Business Diversity and Commercial Real Estate Operations. In this role, Mitchell is tasked with building civic engagement partnerships with academic and administrative units at the University, and engaging community and corporate partners to build durable relationships and partnerships for economic opportunity on the South Side of Chicago and in the region.
Prior to becoming Vice President, Mitchell served as Deputy Governor for Public Safety, Energy, and Infrastructure for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. As Deputy Governor, Mitchell oversaw myriad state agencies, including the Illinois Department of Transportation, Department of Corrections, the Illinois State Police and National Guard, Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Power Agency, Illinois Commerce Commission, and Cannabis Regulation and Oversight Office.
Mitchell was also chief strategist for the Governor on several complex legislative initiatives, including the nation leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act that put Illinois on an equity-focused path to 100% renewable energy, the legalization of cannabis, and Illinois’ $45 billion dollar Rebuild Illinois capital construction program. He was also point person on criminal justice reform, elections and election security, and Illinois’ assault weapons ban. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitchell led the state's procurement of a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile and other critical medical supplies for the hospitals and health care workers of Illinois.
Prior to serving as Deputy Governor, Mitchell was a state representative from Illinois’ 26th District, serving three terms representing the Chicago lakefront, from the Gold Coast to South Chicago. In 2018, Mitchell served as executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois, becoming the first African-American to lead the state party. He began his career as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, working for Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation.
Mitchell is a 2008 graduate of the College, with a degree in public policy. He graduated with his J.D. from the Loyola Chicago School of Law in 2019, and is a member of the Illinois bar.